This was one of those books that I’m not sure what I felt about it. While I loved the intimate portrayal of a relationship between two women and the secrets and doubts that they both shared, there seemed to be a dearth of passion in the writing. For me to really have had enjoyment out of this book, there needed to be more substance and more detail about the relationship between Luisita and Elizabeth. I’m not saying that I needed graphic bedroom scenes, but the fact that this memoir is written with absolutely no romance at all left me feeling a bit distanced from the story.
Luisita as a partner seemed a bit on the needy side, which is one of the things that Elizabeth didn’t like. I don’t want to say she was whiny, but she did frequently complain about both her job and her relationship. She had always longed to write a book but could never get her dreams up and running. She was often lost in a sea of emotion when Elizabeth wasn’t there, and her bouts of moodiness got to me as well. I didn’t really enjoy spending all this time in her head.
Elizabeth was more of a go-getter, and though she tried to be the woman that Luisita wanted, she was often distanced, both emotionally and physically, by Luisita’s moods and her trips around the globe. I wanted to like her, but she felt more like an object in this story rather than a character, which puzzled and bothered me. Ostensibly, this was the story of a love affair, but the participants never visibly exhibited love to one another. It seemed more like possessiveness and territorialism.
One thing I did enjoy about this book was the fact that there was so much coverage of recent history woven into the story of the relationship. From the fall of Marcos to the rise of Corizon Aqino, Torregrosa allows these parts of the tale to break through like the sun from her cloudy and tempestuous relationship with Elizabeth. Those were the parts of the book that I enjoyed most and wished there had been more of.
While I didn’t love this book unabashedly, It was a rather interesting story to take in. I think the author and I would quibble over what we think a relationship is exactly, but I do appreciate the honesty and unguarded spirit with which this book was written. I can imagine that there was a huge emotional toll taken in its crafting. A troubling book, but one that I found strangely enthralling.
About the Author|
Luisita López Torregrosa is the author of The Noise of Infinite Longing and was an editor at the New York Times. As a special correspondent for the San Francisco Chronicle she reported firsthand on the coup attempts against President Corazon Aquino, the communist insurgency in the Philippines, and the protests in South Korea that led to the fall of authoritarian rule. Her articles also have appeared in Vanity Fair, New York Times, Condé Nast Traveler, and Vogue.
Follow Luisita on Twitter.
|A warm thanks to TLC Book Tours for providing this book for me to read and review. Please continue to follow the tour by visiting these other blogs:
This book was provided as a complimentary review copy.